Baseball Completes Series Sweep At Butler Sunday
April 24, 2011
INDIANAPOLIS - Sophomore Charlie Weinberg was sharp on the mound and the UIC offense went to work against the Butler pitching staff as the Flames completed the series sweep of the Bulldogs with a 5-1 win early Sunday afternoon.
Weinberg (5-4) recorded his team-leading fifth win of the season after tossing a career-high eight innings, allowing just one run on five hits while fanning four batters and issuing just two walks. Sunday's outing marked the first quality start of the right-hander's career by allowing fewer than three runs in six or more innings of work.
UIC struck first in Sunday's finale, scoring a single tally in the top of the fifth inning. Ryan Shober continued his prodigious weekend at the dish with a double to left center field. The infielder tagged and moved to third on Nick Addison's fly out and scored when Alex De LaRosa laced a two-out single to left field to give the Flames a 1-0 lead.
Mike Dee's bunch tacked on another run in the sixth inning. Matt Serna started the frame with a base hit to left and moved up 90 feet to second base when Butler starter Jared Wagoner uncorked a wild pitch. Andy Leonard laid down a sacrifice bunt to push Serna to third base and the first baseman scored on Jon Ryan's long sacrifice fly to center field, making it 2-0 in favor of the visitors.
The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard for the first time in the bottom of the seventh against UIC starter Weinberg. Jack Dillon, who came in to pinch run for Pat Gelwicks, scored the first run on an RBI groundout to second base off the bat of pinch hitter Andrew Eckhardt. However, Weinberg worked out of the jam and limited the damage to just the one run.
The Flames went back to work in the top of the eighth against reliever Jared Earle, plating another three insurance runs, despite recording just a single hit in the frame. Jason Ganek drew a lead-off walk and Serna was hit by a pitch to give UIC runners at first and second with nobody out. Andy Leonard laid down a sac bunt, but Butler third baseman Patrick Guinane committed a throwing error, allowing Ganek to score and Serna to move to third; Leonard was safe at first. Ryan then singled up the middle to score Serna and Jacob McNamara knocked a sacrifice fly to center field to allow Leonard to come home and give the Flames a 5-1 lead with six more outs to go.
Ganek, who doubles as UIC's closer, took to the mound in the ninth and retired the Bulldogs in order, marking his fourth straight scoreless appearance.
The Flames have now won 16 straight games against Butler dating back to the 2007 season. UIC's last loss in the series came on April 21, 2007 in Indianapolis. The Flames return home on Tuesday evening to face the Chicago State Cougars at Les Miller Field. UIC won the first game between the two city rivals earlier this season on March 30, 4-1. The first pitch for the non-conference affair is set for 7:05 p.m. The Flames will be back on the road next weekend for Horizon League doubleheaders Friday and Sunday at Wright State and Youngstown State, respectively.